Sick of spinning your wheels creating blog content that no one engages with? I’m here to help.
With so many people (millions, in fact) blogging these days, it’s getting harder and harder to stand out from the crowd.
And with billions of people posting on social media every day, it’s all too easy for humdrum content to get lost in the fray of cat videos and political rants.
There are some practical steps you can take to ensure this doesn’t happen to you, though, and I’ve outlined them below.
10 Steps to Creating Blog Content That Doesn’t SuckFollow these 10 steps to craft blog content that doesn't suck #blogging Click To Tweet
1. Learn how to write for the web
This is the most boring point I’m going to make in this post, so I thought I’d get it out of the way first. Learn how to write effectively for the web using short paragraphs and lots of line breaks.
In fact, brush up on these other blogging skills while you’re at it.
2. Be consistent
Generally speaking, people prefer to follow blogs that publish new content regularly. If you want to capture people’s attention and then hold onto it, you’ve got to find your blogging rhythm and do your damnedest to stick to it.
Now, I’m not even suggesting you publish on the same days every week, necessarily. This would be awesome if you could maintain it (and because Google loves a consistent publishing schedule), but lord knows I’ve tried and failed to set a blogging schedule for the last three years, so it’d be awfully hypocritical of me to tell you it’s THE. ONLY. WAY.
It’s not. You’re not a newspaper, you’re a person, and readers will understand. Just don’t leave them hanging for months at a time and then wonder why your readership has fizzled out completely.
3. Inject a little personality
Okay, now we’re getting to the fun stuff. Are you a person? Yes? Then you have a personality! USE IT.
The quickest way to create a mind-numbing blog that sounds just like all the others is to fail to write from the heart. I’m telling you, people don’t read blogs for cut-and-dry facts–they have magazines and guidebooks for stuff like that.
People read blogs to connect with the person behind it. They want to hear your stories and relate to your experiences.
Share yourself with your readers in ever-growing doses and watch the repeat visitors roll in.
4. Allow yourself to be vulnerable
Once you’ve gotten comfortable with sharing bits and pieces of yourself with your audience, it’s time to really let them in.
It’s hard to relate to someone who seems perfect (even if we know, deep down, they’re not) and has life all figured out (even if we know, deep down, they don’t), so start owning up to your shortcomings, fears, and failures.
Readers will be grateful for your honesty and your authenticity–after all, nothing says real like admitting that behind the pretty Instagram pictures, you’re sobbing into a half-empty bottle of wine every night because you just want to go home.
People will begin to feel like they know you–as if you’re an old friend and not just some stranger they stalk on the Internet.
You’re rarely (dare I say never?) the only one going through something hard, so make your struggles known and begin creating a circle of trust. You’ll quickly build a feeling of camaraderie with those who can sympathize and a feeling of relatability to everyone else (Oh wow, she’s human after all!).
5. Know where to draw the line
Sharing yourself with your audience is wonderful and all, but you must know where to draw the line.
For example, you probably don’t need to tell people about your trip to the dentist, what color your poo was this morning, or your home address and social security number.
In all seriousness, though, remember that some things are better left unsaid and that just because people want to know certain things about your life doesn’t mean you’re under any sort of obligation to share.
A good way to do this is simply to keep your personal anecdotes relevant to your blog’s overall niche.
6. Have an opinion
While it may be tempting to remain neutral on any and every topic, this would be a mistake.
You have opinions, and so do your readers. Don’t be afraid to make them known or to invite a little friendly debate.
People are very likely to click on a post that takes a stance on an issue, either because they think they’ll agree with you or because they think they won’t. This is a fantastic way to generate discussion among your readers.
Take my post Why The Nomadic Lifestyle Can’t Last, for example. Many people agreed with my position, and many others disagreed. This dichotomy led the post to become one of my most widely read of all time, with more comments than almost any other post.
7. Get better at photography
A blog could, arguably, contain no photography at all, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
People like to look at pretty pictures (take Instagram’s popularity as proof), not to mention that photos help to break up blog content into more easily digestible sections.
But having bad photography on your blog could be even more detrimental than having none, so do whatever it takes to up your photography game, whether it’s investing time and money into education, leveling up your gear, or simply practicing more.
I’m constantly working to improve my own photography skills (YouTube has a lot of great tutorials), and I often invest in professional portraits, too.
8. Do something original, for fuck sake
Pardon my French, but it had to be said. There are literally MILLIONS of blogs in existence these days, so if you’re not doing anything to set yourself apart from the rest of them, your content won’t stand a chance.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. “But nothing is original anymore, everything’s already been done!” And you’re partially right. There’s not a whole lot of originality to be had.
Take this very blog post, for example. Is it original? FUCK NO. Lists? Been done a million times. Profanity for shock value? Boooring! Self-deprecating humor? I’m certainly not the first moron to think of that.
But it still feels unique because I wrote it in my voice, sharing my own experiences. It might be reminiscent of posts that were written before it, but it’s still mine, all mine.
There is an honest way to create content that no one else can, and that’s by simply being yourself. No one else writes like you do, and no one else can create the same photos. No one has had the exact same experiences as you.
By staying true to yourself and your values, you’re well on your way to original content.
9. Pay attention to the details
You know what sets high-caliber blogs apart from half-assed blogs? Attention to detail.
Is each piece of content organized in a way that makes sense? Is it riddled with typos, run-on sentences, and funky formatting or is it polished to grammatical perfection?
Is it easy to share? Are the images and graphics relevant and appealing?
Do you give readers a reason to care? In other words, is there something in it for them?
If you want to create blog posts that feel authoritative and professional, go over every inch with a fine-toothed comb before you even consider hitting publish.
Follow this blog post checklist if you’re not sure where to start.
10. Your title matters
My final point is perhaps the most important. Your title is going to make or break your post before people even get there because it determines whether or not they click in the first place.
Creating a crafty title is often easier said than done, and it’s certainly something I’ve struggled with in the past. I find this post to be an excellent resource for choosing a title that’s enticing, but not misleading.
How do you make sure your blog posts are engaging and bring readers back for more?